It turns out that Saturday’s originally scheduled game against the Bruins isn’t the only one the Habs will have to make up. On Sunday, the NHL and NHLPA announced that all cross-border games before the holiday break have been postponed, meaning the Canadiens have had all three of their upcoming games taken off the schedule.
The Habs were originally set to fly to New York on Monday to take on the Islanders before facing off against the Rangers on Wednesday and New Jersey on Thursday. Instead, they’re on their Christmas break now with their next game scheduled for Tuesday, December 28th in Tampa Bay. This set of postponements only runs through the 23rd so for the time being, this one is still on the schedule.
At this point, the chances of NHL players going to the upcoming Olympics looks slimmer and slimmer with now 39 games needing to be made up (Montreal having four of those). While they could technically try to add a week or two at the end of the season to make those up, the likelier scenario is that they’ll use the three-week break in the schedule to get those games played.
Earlier today, Montreal brought up forwards Alex Belzile, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, and Lukas Vejdemo from Laval to account for Mathieu Perreault and Joel Armia going on IR plus Artturi Lehkonen’s and Laurent Dauphin’s placement in COVID protocol and Cedric Paquette isolating for precautionary reasons. Those three can be sent back down between now and 11:59 PM ET on Thursday when the holiday roster freeze kicks in.